Merton Council hit the borough’s litter hotspots to warn smokers of the consequences dropping cigarette butts have on town centre streets.
As part of the council’s zero tolerance approach to litter and environmental crime, engagement officers from the council’s waste services team spoke to people last week about keeping the borough clean and the cost of dropping cigarettes on the streets- a £80 fixed penalty notice (FPN). They also handed out cigarette pouches to smokers passing by to deter them from throwing their butts on the ground.
The council has enforcement officers patrolling town centres in the borough and from August, this was stepped up to include parks and green spaces. In the past year nearly 200 gum and cigarette butt bins have been installed across the borough, including town centres and outside tube stations, to stop people littering. Our team will be out again the first week of December.
Cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking, Councillor Judy Saunders, said: “The council is fully committed to keeping our streets clean. This year alone has seen our enforcement officers hand out over 8,000 fixed penalty notices for littering, many of those for cigarette butts. We have a zero tolerance approach to littering and our officers are educating people on the consequences of dropping their butts on our streets.
“We spend over £5million a year keeping our streets clean and we have found that the small minority of people who litter are from outside of the borough. That is why we are stepping up our efforts to ensure that anyone caught dropping litter pays the price.”
Notes to editors
Engagement officers will be at the following locations over the next few weeks:
Between 11am – 2pm
1 December, Colliers Wood tube station
2 December, Morden tube station
4 December, Mitcham town centre
8 December, Raynes Park train station
9 December, Wimbledon train station